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Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: Best of 2019

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is 2019 in Review.]

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.


I know, I know. It's been a while. I have no excuse. Actually, can my excuse be that 2019 was a sh*tty year for cinema? I looked back on our Best of 2018 list, and I had a fully-fleshed-out Top 10 -- with Honorable Mentions, even! This past year, there were no fewer than seven films that I wanted to walk out on (but only actually left Booksmart, which was the most egregious offender). The complete list:

The Favourite
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
High Life
The Lighthouse

At least San Francisco and The Lighthouse were visually interesting? In the case of the former, I think the tale choked on its stylization, while with the latter, I was reminded of Kill List, an excellent Irish film (I later discovered) that I was unable to parse in theaters due to the thick Irish accents and lack of subtitles; I gleaned very little through the audial soup that was The Lighthouse's Willem Dafoe peculiar brogue.

[*Booksmart's saving grace was that it became abundantly clear to me very quickly that the tale was absolutely not my preferred brand of comedy. Humor is, of course, subjective.]

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Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesCHIRP Radio Presents an Arts and Culture Two-Fer on Wednesday Febr. 12

This Wednesday CHIRP Radio presents two events in town that are sure to entertain and spark conversation:

CHIRP and The Chicago Humanities Festival present the series debut of Hulu’s reimaging of High Fidelity. The original movie took place in Chicago and stars John Cusack. The remake moves the story to Brooklyn and features Zoë Kravitz as the main character whose taste in music far exceeds their luck in love.

This exclusive screening of the series’ first two episodes will be followed by Q&A with cast member Da’Vine Joy Randolph and local radio host and stand-up comedian Jill Hopkins. The event is from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Click here to get more info and buy tickets.

Also on Wednesday, the Chicago-and-world famous music and lit series The First Time returns to Martyrs’ for its 2020 debut “First Class.” Readers tell true stories about their “First Class” accompanied by music provided by the First Time Four:

This 21+ event starts at 8:00pm. Click here for tix.

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Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: chicago humanities festival, the first time

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesMonday 2/10: “Disco Godfather” at The Music Box Theatre!

Tonight at the Music Box Theat re holds a very scpecial screening presented by the Chicago Film Society and CHIRP Radio: the 1979 bloxsploitation classic Disco Godfather.

Starring Dolemite legend Rudy Rae Moore (who also produced) and Carol Speed, the film is the story of a retired cop who runs a discoteque and must defend his neighborhood from a local PCP dealer. Featuring the urban DIY aestetic of its genre along with a killer soundtrack, the movie is a glimpse into an earlier, simpler time where dancing, roller skating, and "puttin' your weight on it" ruled.

The Music Box is located at 3733 N Southport Ave 60613. Showtime is 7:00pm. Buy tickets here.

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Categorized: Event Previews, Movies

Topics: disco godfather

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesCheck Out Waltzer Friday Feb. 7 at Sleeping Village

A trip to the dark side of Rock/Soul/Country is in order when CHIRP Radio welcomes Waltzer takes the stage Friday night at Sleeping Village for a 21+ show. The set will feature the premier of the music video "Destroyer," the first of many new tracks releasing in 2020. 

Also on stage will be Chicago-based queer country singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Sa and Chicago band Space Gators. Doors open at 9:00pm. Show starts at 9:30pm. Buy tickets here.


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Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: andrew sa, space gators, waltzer

Kyle writesThe 92nd Annual Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees in Review

by Kyle Sanders

Boy, 2019 sure was something, huh? Amidst all the talk of impeachment hearings, climate in crisis, and continual hints at a crumbling society, we still had the movies to help us cope through it all.

And what a year for films! While Disney continued it dominance with Marvel comic adaptations and live-action remakes of animated classics, there were filmmakers out there producing motion pictures that were less mind-numbing "theme park rides" (sorry, Mr. Scorsese!) and more so cerebral cinema.

Well, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has seen 'em all, and given us their nominees for the best of 2019. Here are the nine films up for Best Picture of the Year...

1917 (The War Epic)

While it's been done before, it's still a pretty impressive effect to see a film that appears captured all in one take. Director Sam Mendes went this route for this World War I film about two British soldiers tasked with delivering a message to the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.

The two must maneuver through German trenches and avoid attacks from the enemy in order to insure the battalion calls off a planned attack against the Germans, who are plotting an ambush that could cost the lives of 1,600 British men.

The one-take gimmick works well at building tension, as there is a sense of timely dread the more this based-on-a-true-story unfolds. Skillfully directed by Mendes, 1917 surprised many by winning Best Drama at this year's Golden Globes, and it's possible it could do the same thing at this year's Oscars.

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Categorized: Movies

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